The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community continues to wring its hands in mourning after Valve announced on April 21st that the updated version of Nuke (Newke) would be replacing Inferno in the Active Duty map pool. I even wrote a eulogy for Inferno.
On May 4th, Valve shipped a CS:GO update that, in addition to removing the frustrating Alt+Tab sound bug, featured several noteworthy gameplay adjustments and quality-of-life tweaks for Newke, including:
— Improved accuracy of grenade clips on metal containers
— Clip brushes now play the correct material type footstep sound
— Performance optimizations
— Removed crate stack from CT side
— Removed railings outside HUT
— Removed railings at top of Heaven ladder
— Lowered ambient soundscape volumes
— Door opening and closing predictability fixed
— Improved .nav mesh (thanks Bez)
— Fixed +use interaction through tool or clip brushes
— Fixed double doors being blocked by their sibling door being blocked by the player
In addition to fixing the various grenade clipping and door issues that had been highlighted by Reddit users, Valve is clearly aware that performance issues might partially be responsible for the community’s hesitation to embrace Newke with open arms. While your mileage may vary as far as increased FPS goes after this update, I certainly noticed the difference.
As far as the actual changes to map layout and gameplay are concerned, the removal of the crate stack on the CT side of Yard/Outside opens up new defensive options for Counter-Terrorists trying to prevent the Terrorist side from gaining control of the new Catwalk area. (Credit to Reddit user /u/vikinick for these useful post-update pictures.)
While the majority of the time we talk about “buffs” in CS:GO, we’re referring to weapons, this is actually a case of Valve directly buffing a position. With the removal of the crates, the Counter-Terorrist side has a much more viable avenue of defense to help stop the dreaded Terrorist assault on Heaven from Catwalk. I’m not an expert on Newke gameplay (yet), but the change is a small step in the right direction as far as map balance is concerned.
The other map adjustments are relatively minor by comparison–removing the railings near HUT and in Heaven has more to do with ensuring that the gameplay ‘flows’ on the map. (That’s the polite way to say “now you won’t get pissed off about running into railings anymore.”) Progress, I’d say.
It’s nice to see that Valve are actively listening to community feedback about Newke, and it’s equally nice to see the development team exercising their customary level of restraint. Instead of removing Catwalk entirely, as the loudest of complainers have demanded, they’ve opted to instead change the way that gunfights are staged in the area. Valve have always been incrementalists to the core, and while the changes to Newke aren’t massive, they are important–if only because they indicate that the development team recognizes that there’s still work to be done in order to make Newke a viable competitive map.
Cache Looks Like Cash Money
As far as “expected” goes in Counter-Strike, the high-definition texture overhaul/remake of Cache is up there with jOELZ not making it to LAN–the maker of the map, FMPONE, announced via Twitter at the beginning of March 2016 that the map would be getting a full digital makeover:
In addition to the new vents, DE_CACHE will be receiving a texture upgrade using some of the techniques from Newke. They're pretty, I like.
— FMPONE (@FMPONE) March 9, 2016
Similar to his release of Santorini, which would later become part of the Operation Wildfire map collection, FMPONE has also kept an updated version of the HD remake of Cache available on the Steam Workshop since the announcement–community members, in turn, provided the acclaimed mapmaker with feedback and bug reports.
What does the new Cache look like?
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Well, it’s functionally identical to the old Cache. Everything just looks better.
There’s a new, name-appropriate poster hanging in Sunroom, as well as some additional decals above the window to assist with grenade lineups.
There are some new vines outside of the entrance to B Halls.
And, of course, the vents are way brighter, making it much easier to spot the dark blue Counter-Terrorist character models when they’re hiding inside.
The biggest change, in my opinion? The plywood on Forklift looks way more plywood-y.
I spent an entire CT side of Cache appreciating these new plywood textures. I kid you not. Every time I walked past them, I’d give them a little head nod–keep on keepin’ on, new plywood texture, I’d whisper.
Nice to see you again, I’d say in passing as our team eco-rushed into A main.
If you’re thinking about plying me with gifts, I quipped to myself, I’ve got news for you, buddy: it wood-n’t work!
We might have gotten stomped, but it was worth it.
In all seriousness, the updated version of Cache looks fantastic. I’ve played a handful of PUGs on it since the update shipped, and the visibility–which was never a problem on the map to begin with–is absolutely fantastic. Certain sightlines (such as Quad to Highway/White Box) have been de-cluttered, a definite improvement.
The bottom line? The Newke update is a step in the right direction. The Cache update is like a loved one gave you an unexpected and perfect gift–something you didn’t know you wanted until you had it.
Check back during the weekend to see our coverage of the Asia Minor–until then, try downloading our iOS app (appsto.re/i6YV5gF) to earn free Steam, Battlenet, and Riot Point gift cards by watching gaming videos.